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Buckle Fracture


What is a buckle fracture?

A buckle fracture is a break that does not go completely through the bone. One side of the bone buckles (bulges) when pressure is applied to the other side of the bone. A buckle fracture is also called a torus fracture. Buckle fractures usually occur in the forearm. A buckle fracture may be caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand.

What are the signs and symptoms of a buckle fracture?

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Swelling or bruising around the injury
  • Trouble moving, touching, or pressing on the injured area

How is a buckle fracture diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's injury and examine him. An x-ray will be done to show the type of fracture your child has.

How is a buckle fracture treated?

  • A support device , such as a cast or splint, may be needed to support and protect your child's bone while it heals. It will decrease movement of the injured area and allow it to heal. He will need to wear the support device for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much your child should take and how often he should take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.

How can I manage my child's symptoms?

  • Apply ice on your child's injury for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your child's injury above the level of his heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop the injured area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
    Elevate Limb (Child)
  • Have your child rest his injury as much as possible. Do not let your child put pressure on the injured area or move it. Ask his healthcare provider when he can return to sports and other activities.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your child's pain gets worse, even after he rests and takes medicine.
  • Your child's hand or fingers feel numb.
  • Your child's skin over the fracture is swollen, cold, or pale.
  • Your child cannot move his hand or fingers.

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • Your child's brace or splint becomes wet, damaged, or comes off.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.